Crime & Courts

Wichita police: Public helped in catching credit union robber

Wichita police credited “good description” from the public in helping them spot and apprehend a credit union robber late Thursday afternoon.

A 41-year-old man walked into the Credit Union of America at 212 S. Ridge Road at 5:08 p.m. and handed a clerk a handwritten note stating “Put all the money in the bag” he had brought with him, according to a police report. The clerk placed money from her cash drawer into the bag, including GPS bait money.

The man left in a white car and was soon spotted by police officers responding to the report of the robbery. They attempted to stop him, but he refused and a chase ensued, Lt. James Espinoza said.

“The chase continued up to the point where suspect wrecked” in the 9000 block of West Harvest, near 13th and Tyler. The vehicle clipped a curb, went on the lawn and rolled onto its side as it crashed into the house.

Officers caught up to the crash and found the suspect still inside the vehicle, Espinoza said. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash and then was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail shortly before 2:30 a.m. Friday.

The police chase lasted about a minute before the crash occurred, Espinoza said.

“This is a violent felony,” he said of the robbery.

“It’s because of the suspect’s choice to run from the police” that the decision to pursue was made, he said. “We have to make split-second decisions on whether to chase or not.”

The money stolen in the robbery was recovered from the suspect’s car, Espinoza said.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.